By: James Nieman
Counterculture. Anti-establishment. Rebellious.
Not long ago, these words were synonymous with snowboarding.
But then snowboarding exploded into a multi-billion-dollar industry. With a few big-name brands dominating a large percentage of the market, the grass roots got buried under an avalanche of money.
Now, one hardy shoot has broken through.
Signal Snowboards is blazing its own trail. The small, independent brand recently introduced the world’s first-ever snowboard subscription. Through technology, Signal plans to bring the benefits of the direct economy to the snowboard community, carving through retail giants along the way.
Founded in 2004 by pro snowboarder Dave Lee, the California-based company was struggling to compete in a retail market dominated by brands like Burton and Volcom.
So Lee took his business off the shelves and put it onto the Internet. With a monthly subscription ranging from $35 to $55, you can have any of Signal’s snowboards delivered right to your doorstep. Since announcing the platform just a few short months ago, the company has already sold out its inventory, a first in the brand’s 12-year history.
But for Lee, going digital was just as much about brand building as it was about boosting sales.
The subscription model provides Signal the advantage of having monthly contact with its consumers, with new and exciting opportunities each time to connect and build the brand. Through these interactions, Signal can begin to create a community among its consumer base and develop lifetime value.
In a recent Fast Company article, Lee sheds light on the business advantages going direct has had on the brand:
“Think about a seasonal business, where you’re betting your business on three to four months of sales, but now with more predictable monthly revenues, we’re super flexible. We’re not even playing in the seasonal world anymore. We have no retailers or distributors – we do it all direct.”
Since the very beginning, Signal’s brand mission was to “build something more than just a product.” And thanks to Lee’s entrepreneurial vision, it’s done just that. Signal delivers more than a snowboard. It delivers an experience. By going direct, Signal makes snowboarding and snowboarding culture more accessible than ever before. Building the brand through direct relationships with subscribers means Signal can inspire its boarders to shred more and better, and live their shredding dreams.
That’s why Signal Snowboards is our Inspiring Action Brand of the Week!